“The Beggar Wench”

Alternate titles: “The Merchant and the Beggar Wench”; “The Merchant's Son”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1847 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 6(48))
Keywords: sex theft clothes cross-dressing trick drink begging youth
Found in: Britain(Scotland)

Description

A merchant's son meets a beggar girl; they go to bed and, being drunk, sleep soundly. She awakens first, takes his clothes and gear, and leaves. He awakes to find only the girl's clothes, which he puts on, swearing never to sleep with a beggar again

Notes

The plot is, of course, virtually identical to "The Shirt and the Apron" -- but as the protagonist is a merchant rather than a sailor, and the lady is a beggar, they get split. - PJS

Cross references

Broadsides

Recordings

References

  1. Kennedy 338, "The Beggar Wench" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Flanders-Ancient1, p. 242, "Willie's Lyke-Wake" (1 fragment, two lines only, the second line of which is found in Child's "C" text of "Willie's Lyke-Wake" [Child 25], but a similar line is found in "The Beggar Wench," and the first line of this fragment, "Kind sir, if you please," may fit better with this piece)
  3. DT, MRCHNTSN* MRCHNTS2*
  4. Roud #2153
  5. BI, K338